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2012 Winter Classic Weather Report: Sunny Forecast For NHL Action

The local weather forecast for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia is encouraging for the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers -- and the Philly fans who will be in attendance at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. According to Weather.com, the report is for it to be 41 degrees and sunny at the game's new start time of 3 p.m.

Earlier Monday, it will be partly cloudy with winds that could reach nearly 20 miles per hour, and a 20 percent chance of rain. Weather concerns already pushed the game from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Travis Hughes explains the change in Winter Classic start time:

The problem isn't the unseasonably warm temperatures in Philadelphia, rather the sun that beats down on the rink in the middle of the afternoon. The ice conditions become too soft for an NHL game. Cloud cover would have solved the problems, but with mostly sunny skies in the forecast for Monday, delaying the game became necessary.

Last season, it rained on the Winter Classic between the Penguins and Capitals, causing delays. This season, NHL officials hope to avoid a repeat if the weather cooperates with the new start time.

See SBNation Philly's StoryStream for complete Winter Classic coverage. You can visit BroadStreetHockey for the Flyers perspective. For the Rangers, check out Blueshirt Banter for the Rangers perspective.